QUESTION “Can I immigrate my brother’s minor children? I just became a U.S. citizen, and I want to know if I could file papers for his son and daughter? He does not have immigration papers. I’m afraid his children could get picked-up and deported.” ANSWER Unfortunately, the answer is NO. I’m not clear why your brother does not have legal immigration status. If he was a green card holder at one time, but lost his permanent residency papers through deportation, that’s one situation. However, to answer your question, I am going to assume a different set of circumstances. I will suppose your brother has never been a legal resident and he has never been deported. In this case, you could petition on behalf of your brother. The process is slow and it will be a long wait before he earns a green card. Once your brother obtains permanent resident status, he may be able to file immigration papers for his own children. Actually, your question about who you can immigrate is the most common question I receive as a green card attorney. So Who Can You Immigrate? When you are a U.S. citizen, you are entitled to immigrate all of your closest relatives. This includes your spouse, parents, children, brothers and sisters. You are not allowed to immigrate nephews, nieces, cousins, uncles, or aunts. If you were only a lawful permanent resident, you would have fewer options. Before closing, I’d like to point out two other potential options regarding your nephew and niece. First, what about their mother? What is her immigration status? If she has legal status, perhaps she can petition them. Second, have you adopted them? If you have not, but you have an active relationship with them, you may want to look into adoption rules.